Fire and Emergency is running a consultation and we’d like your help to contribute towards our submission on the proposed:
- Interim shared Code of Behaviour
- Policy to address bullying, harassment and victimisation
Why are these documents important?
We are in the middle of a culture change across the organisation. One aim is to eliminate bullying, harassment and victimisation at all levels of Fire and Emergency across the country and for all personnel.
Put simply, in order to change how we behave as FENZ personnel, ensuring we act appropriately, we need to know what is acceptable, what is not and how to each other to account for persistent behaviour that is unacceptable. It is about your safety and wellbeing as you serve your communities. These documents will form the backbone of this understanding.
These initiatives are also a result of the Independent Review into Workplace Bullying and Harassment by retired judge Coral Shaw earlier this year and subsequent Respect and Inclusion work supported by the partner agencies (including UFBA and FRFANZ).
What we’re asking from you…
View the two documents on our website – Interim Shared code of behaviour and the Policy to address bullying, harassment and victimisation.
Ask your brigades…
- Do they connect with you? Are they easy to understand and make sense?
- What does your brigade need to see, and what do you want to see from these policies?
- What are your biggest fears about the policy as it has been drafted?
- Would you feel comfortable adopting the code of conduct or using the bullying policy when necessary?
- Do they clearly define what is acceptable and what is not?
- Is anything missing from these documents?
Fire and Emergency will be following up with a toolbox to help implement these (which will also be opened for consultation once drafted), however this is a start around which they can build these.
What we think so far
We commend the use of the easy to use TGU test and underpinning the code of conduct with the new values. The use of clear definitions in the policy helps users understand the context. These are both crucial documents needed to hold people to account and understand expectations around behaviour.
We suggested that related policies need to be linked throughout the policy and were pleased to have victimisation included to protect those going through disputes and those who support others going through them. We also requested that links to associations and union be included – as partner agencies – for easy access to other support and are pleased that Fire and Emergency listened to us on this. We also feel that reference to bystanders and upstanders needs to go into procedure and not policy and the use of ‘levels’ terminology (for intervention) could be confused with other processes in place.
For the Code of Behaviour we’d like to see exceptional behaviour as the only expected behaviour and feel there is some vagueness around perceptions of where the line is.
Throughout the development of the policy and code we sought reassurance from the Behaviour Conduct Office at FENZ that there was not an intention to pull all of the disputes and complaints processes in-house. We stressed the need and obligations for independent options for those raising disputes and have been assured that the UFBA remains a valued partner and trusted body outside of FENZ in the support and advocacy area. Our statistics show that the number of complaints raised through the UFBA exceeds those through FENZ internal processes which shows to us the value you place on having an independent organisation working on your behalf. We remain committed to providing you all with an independent option for when things are not right in your brigade, when the code has not been adhered to or your voice is not being heard.
Now, over to you.
Good, bad, areas for improvement, parts that are unclear? Tell us what you think!
Drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (labelled ‘bullying policy and code of conduct’)
We need all feedback by 4 December please. We’ll respect your confidentiality removing your name and brigade from our submission.
Let’s shape a positive cultural change together. Give us your voice
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